Kevin DeYoung gives some encouragement via his latest sermon, from Romans 16:
We probably don’t think of Paul has a great encourager, more of a champion of the gospel or defender of the faith, but the only reason we don’t see him encouraging others is because it happens so frequently. Could you find ways to build up those you love in front of others? We tend to put people in their place more easily. We mention the two things that bother us instead of the ten things we appreciate. Or we give a compliment so that we can tear them down (“He’s a good friend. Nice guy. But…” or “Bless her heart…”). Again, God isn’t asking us to be fake. He isn’t telling us to be mindlessly positive about everyone and everything. But frankly that’s not the problem for most of us. We could use the practice–in emails, letters, in everyday conversation –of building people up with encouraging words. How do you publicly talk about your spouse? Your church? Your pastor? The people in your church? Your parents? Your kids? Your co-workers? Are their legitimate opportunities to sincerely encourage them directly or affirm them before others?